The University of Iowa

Halsey Hall

Elizabeth Halsey

Honoree: Elizabeth Halsey
(photo courtesy of Staff and Faculty Vertical File, University Archives)


  • UI director of women’s physical education 1924 until 1955
  • A pioneer in establishing sports for women at the collegiate level, she transformed the athletic life of female students at the University of Iowa

Halsey Hall


Description of facility:

Before the construction of Halsey Hall, the women’s gymnasium had been confined to a small space in the basement of Schaeffer Hall known as the Crypt. With a new building and the advent of Elizabeth Halsey as director of women’s physical education, the athletic life of female students at the University of Iowa was transformed. Once confined to gymnastics, dance, and hygiene, women were able now to participate more fully in the sporting activities previously available only to men. The building, which now houses the Department of Dance and a Recreation Services satellite fitness facility (Fitness East), has also achieved a measure of fame as an exterior shot for the 1980s television sitcom, Coach, the title character of which was loosely based on former UI football coach Hayden Fry.

Address: 28 West Jefferson Street
Year built: 1915
Additional building information and map: Halsey Hall

Aerial View of Building